The Week (US)

How to discuss investing and risk

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In a volatile market, joint financial decisions can be challengin­g for couples with different risk tolerances, said Anne Tergesen in

The Wall Street Journal. Some couples try to eliminate tension by splitting their portfolio, to allow each other to mind “their own piece of the pie.” This is obviously easier if each partner has a similar-size retirement account. Couples could also consider dividing their portfolio into “buckets earmarked for specific goals, such as paying off a mortgage or retirement.” One way to understand your partner’s risk tolerance is to ask how he or she felt last March, or in the financial crisis of 2008. People who “bailed out of the market” then, says one adviser, should have no more than 50 percent of their savings in stocks. Keeping a substantia­l cash reserve can also make a conservati­ve partner feel more at ease.

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